Today marks the 18 year anniversary of Jay-Z’s Blueprint, an album that’s regarded highly in his discography and hip hop as a whole. Members of Jay’s immediate circle recently sat down to discuss the album and the creative process behind it including the face-off between Jay and Nas over “Takeover” and “Ether.”
Lenny S, A&R at Roc-A-Fella, spoke candidly on the energy in the Roc-A-Fella camp after the release of Nas’ “Ether.” While he revealed Jay admitted defeat in that battle, it was the way Jay dealt with the scenario itself that impressed Lenny S at the end.
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“The Blueprint showed me how selfless Jay was. This was the time when “Takeover” was out and “Ether” and everything. The energy was kind of crazy. They did a poll on the radio like “Ether” vs. “Supa Ugly,” and everyone voted “Ether.” It was like, ‘Jay’s career is over. He’s done,'” He recounted.
“Jay’s on the phone with me, convincing me that this has to happen in life. We have to go through ups and downs,” he continued. “We have take losses in order to get greater wins. We have to fall in order to get up. He just spent 15 minutes convincing me why this was necessary and that it’s alright. This man just took a loss. A public loss to a rival rapper. And he’s convincing me, a young A&R, and obviously his friend and his brother, of like why I need to be okay with this and let it go and not take it to heart. It just taught me as a man how to be a more mature adult.”